My piano makes me happy

It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally acquired a gadget that puts my iPhone in it’s place.
Now I just need to un-jam the right pedal and learn to play it…

more later  – joel

CBC: Duelling rallies draw crowds in Washington

I have a couple problems with these rallies:

  1. Glenn Beck is a broadcaster.  He belongs on Fox news, spouting whatever he wants his viewers to think he believes.  It’s not actually news, it’s editorial entertainment.  He does NOT belong at a political rally.  How would any other network treat an employee who did this?
  2. These two rallies took place on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream speech” and both purported to support his arguments.  If that were true, why were there two rallies, one reported as being primarily white and the other black?

From the CBC Story here.

more later – joel

Brandon Sanderson – this guy’s on fire

He’s doing what no writer should have been able to do with Robert Jordan’s life work – take it and make it his own while keeping all of the same nuances and essential bits that made it so engaging. I have always found Robert Jordan to be a bit rambling, but he was just so darn readable…  Sanderson has captured that and made it so very much more un-put-down-able. 
I am also reading his Mistborn trilogy, about halfway through Hero of Ages, the third and concluding piece. It really is a tribute to this guy’s imagination how he comes up with a world and magic structure that is so compelling and wonderful. 
I am looking forward to Towers of Midnight and A Memory of Light!

More later – Joel. 

Almost off-book for White Christmas

I’ve nearly got all my lines down for act one. It’s important to get past the point where you’re wandering around with the script and start focusing on character and delivery.

I remember an interview with Anthony Hopkins where he said pretty much the same thing when asked about his “secret”. Just learn the lines and say what’s written.

Yea right. If only it were as simple as that… But it can’t be too much more, otherwise we’ll appear to be trying too hard and that never looks natural.

Freudian slips? Last night I blurted out “undirectable” instead of “unbelievable”. Nice. That one seemed to stick.

More later – Joel.

Loving the iPhone 4, in many many ways

I have had the iPhone 4 since launch day in Canada (July 28), having been lucky enough to be the tenth person in line at Rogers in Cobourg, where they had 10 phones allocated.

Why is this phone so much better? Is it packed with more features?

Not really. The video camera is new, but it actually just more usable as a camera, and that thought follows through to the whole device and to iOS 4 itself.

Fast app switching, along with background audio and processing, means I can flip from facebook, twitter, browser, mail, phone, camera, tomtom, etc without any loss of anything. That’s what I have been looking for in a device and didn’t even know it, since I was pretty darn happy with my iPhone 3G, and I have been touting it’s wonders since it’s launch day more than two years ago.

The front facing camera is a big new feature, but I haven’t used it yet. Once it integrates with Skype, PS3, and Xbox for video messaging, then I will be exciting.

There are still a couple of areas for vast improvement, too. The notifications system seems a bit wonky, and it would be nice to be able to control those a bit better. For instance, if I pick up my phone and I have 2 calendar invites and 3 facebook messages, I don’t necessarily want to only see the last notification. There’s gotta be a better way to visualize those things. It’s a minor beef, though, to be sure.

More later – joel